Combination Particles with ところ

第267課: Combination Particles with ところ

     While learning about the particle ところ, you’ll be introduced to combination particles. We’ve seen many instances where 2(+) particles can be used together, but we haven’t really dealt with instances where one or more used together make a new phrase. 

Combination ParticlesA particle phrase made up of either more than one particle or a particle(s)  with another part of speech.    


     The noun 所 means “place”. There are four usages of ところ. These usages can be used in many situations. It can be used to show place, moment of time, situation, or the substance of a matter. More specific things that it can show include the following.

  • Show a specific space or spot.
  • Show a particular place, part, or position.
  • Show a point, address, region, etc.
  • Shows the current time in phrases like このところ and 今日の所.
  • Show a particular time.
  • With a meaning of content/outline.
  • 早いところ = Promptly

When seen after a verb, tense is very important for correct interpretation. With the non-past tense, ところ means “just about to…”. When used with the past tense of a verb, it shows what you “just did”.  This can only be used to indicate the time when a certain action has literally just been done. If you want to say that you just recently did something, you should use ~たばかりです.

When used with the progressive, it shows that you are now doing a certain action. The “just” may also be emphasized with adverbs such as ちょうど. This is simply an extension of translation of its usage to show time. The tense just shows the time factor. 

1. 帰るところだ。
    I’m about to go home.

2. 学校に行くところでした。
    I was about to go to school.

3. 事故を起こすところだったよ。
    I was about to cause an accident.

4. 忘れるところでした。
    I almost forgot.

5. よく晴れるところもあります。
    There are also places where it is quite clear.

6. 雨の降るところもありそうです。
    There also seems to be places where it’s raining.

7. 陽が沈むところです。
    The sun is about to set.

8. 会社を出たところです。
    I just left the company.

9. 彼の言ったところが分かりませんでした。
    I didn’t understand what he said.

10. この国の議会では、B党の占めるところが大きい。
      In this/our country’s parliament, B party is the majority. 

11. 彼女の理論は、仲間の調査によるところが大きい。
      Her theory mainly relies on the research by his friends.

12. 人は建物を余すところなく建てている。
      People are building buildings exhaustively. 

13. もう一歩いっぽといったところですが。
      You’re just one more step away, but…

14. 私たちは田舎に新築の家をちょうど買ったところです。
      We have just bought a new house in the countryside.

Grammar Note: You can also see ところ after speech modals like ~ようとする ~てしまった. It works the same way. 

Combination Particles with ところ

The meaning of a combination will reflect that of its individual parts put together. However, for the conjunctive particles that are created with ところ, this may not be that obvious. These combinations below may also not be used as conjunctive particles and can be more literally interpreted in different situations. Don’t let punctuation get the best of you.  

  Meaning Usage
 ところへ Just when Shows coincidence of events after -ている or -た.
 ところが But/while Shows unexpected bad outcome.
 ところで Even if (X) were to… Poses an undesirable hypothetical situation.
 ところを Although usually Shows something unexpected is happening

Grammar Notes:

1. ところ may often be shortened to just とこ.

2. ところへ may also be ところに.

3. The particle ところ either shows a sequence or contradiction depending on context. The last usage is synonymous with ところが. These are conjunction usages of ところ.


15. 科学の宿題をし始めようとしているところへ、僕の友だちが遊びにきた。
      Just when I was about to start doing my science homework, my friends came to play.

16. にわかあめがやんだところへ、台風たいふうが町をおそった。
       Just when the shower quit, a typhoon hit the town.

17. 彼女は僕が好きらしいんだよね。ところが、彼女の方は僕が知ってるなんて全く気がついてないよ。
      She (seems) to love me you know. But, she doesn’t realize that I know it at all.

Grammar Note: As you can see, ところが may also be used as a conjunction at the beginning of a sentence to mean “even so/however/but”.  

18. 半分したところで、彼はもう済ませたよ。
      I’ve finished half, but he’s already finished!

19. いつもなら6時に起きるところを、今朝は寝坊ねぼうして、学校に遅刻してしまった。
      Although I always wake up at six, I overslept this morning and became late to school.